How Tino 'Weaponized' Something 'Personal' Against Rachel on Live TV
Rachel Recchia is shocked by what Tino Franco was willing to discuss on live TV. Following Tuesday's season finale of The Bachelorette, the pilot told ET's Rachel Smith what she was alluding to when she told Tino that they "both don't want to air out" the reason they were in a bad place before his cheating scandal, which was apparently revealed during a portion of their breakup argument that did not air on TV.
"There are things that are fine to be aired on television and things that I think we are comfortable sharing with the world, and there are some things I think that are so deeply personal -- like your own personal traumas -- things that you only share with a partner who is that close to you," Rachel tells ET. "To have something like that weaponized against you in front of a live audience, it really is just really shocking."
Rachel cryptically continues by stating that Tino "knows that things don't make it into a cut for a reason, maybe for both of us."
"It's definitely just something very personal," she says. "I'm just very shocked that it was even brought up."
While not complete, Rachel believes that the version of the breakup argument that aired told fans all they need to know about her and Tino's ultimately failed relationship.
"There are so many things that I think went on that day on top of allegations of whatever problems we were having -- just details into the cheating and how deep and intense it was emotionally and things like that," Rachel says. "I could sit here and air out dirty laundry, but at the end of the day people saw what they needed to see, which was the fact that we were in a bad place and instead of getting out of that bad place, we ended up where we were."
Her decision to end things with Tino was quickly solidified during the breakup conversation in question, which they had after he confessed to kissing another woman.
"I think I definitely knew in the moment of our fight that it was the right call, no matter how hard the decision was," she says. "I had no idea what defense he would be on coming in during our first reunion. To see him still in the same place, and we were both running around in the same circle again going nowhere, it really just kind of affirmed that it was never going to work out."
Rachel's co-lead, Gabby Windey, saw the pilot's confrontation with her ex play out for the first time on Tuesday, and was stunned by what went down.
"I was obviously feeling for Rachel. She's one of my really good friends and I hate seeing her heartbroken and in such a stressful situation," Gabby tells ET. "I was really confused by him and what he had to say and, honestly, how he handled everything. I think leaving the show, we were both Tino all the way, obviously. We thought he was all in. And then seeing it back, the breakup was like a whole different person. I didn't recognize him."
While the public may never know everything that went down between Rachel and Tino amid their split, the pilot quickly agrees that she dodged a bullet by ending things with the general contractor.
"It was a beautiful ring, but definitely not worth the price I had to pay for it," Rachel says of the engagement ring Tino popped the question with in Mexico.
When it comes to those comparisons of her and Tino's situation to that of Ross and Rachel's infamous "we were on a break" fight on Friends, Rachel found them amusing, though not exactly relevant to her situation.
"I love that, because I feel like I would have to know if we were on a break... I would be aware," she says. "I can see it maybe because there is such a he-said, she-said [thing, and] so much of this did happen off camera. That's just the reality of it, that we never will know the full story. I won't even know the full story. It's, at this point, just over and I think we all just have to kind of accept the facts that we have."
No matter what went down in their relationship, Rachel tells ET of Tino, "I do obviously wish him the best. Hopefully we can both just move on with our lives now that everyone kind of knows where we stand."
After a surprise appearance from Aven Jones on the finale, Rachel tells ET that she and her ex "are just taking things, obviously, very organically and slowly." If that doesn't work out, though, Rachel is not open to trying to find love on The Bachelorette again.
"I don't think so. I would love to actually see other people go on the journey," she says. "I got a chance to go through this and grow and I would never want to do it without [Gabby]. I truly just don't think I can do that unless she wanted to come back [for] the whole time."
That seems unlikely, as Gabby is currently engaged to her final pick, Erich Schwer.
While things didn't end how Rachel had hoped, she tells ET that she doesn't "regret anything" from her journey.
"Every decision I made was the absolute right decision for me in the moment," she says. "Of course, looking back, there's so many things I could have changed. I was so far from being perfect, as hard as I might have tried, but I think just so many lessons that we are going to be able to use for the rest of our life... We just did the best we could and really tried to follow our hearts the entire time."
Tune in to Wednesday's episode of Entertainment Tonight for more of ET's coverage on The Bachelorette finale.
Relive all the drama from season 19 of The Bachelorette with ET's coverage. For more Bachelor Nation fun, tune in to the season premiere of Bachelor in Paradise on Tuesday, Sept. 27 on ABC.
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